“The scariest thing is catching an edge on your ski when you’re screaming around a sharp curve,” said Newman Club president Sam Schwartz as he passed around plates of carrot cake.
Grace had been said. The homemade spaghetti, garlic bread, and salad had been finished off long ago. It was time for dessert and conversation, another meal with the Central Oregon Community College Newman Club comes to an end. Schwartz, who is also a member of the COCC Nordic Ski Team, will be attending Oregon State University next year in Corvallis, Oregon.
“I guess for me [the Newman Club] is about being with my friends and peers. We have a really good group. Like a youth group but for college students. We do a lot of cool stuff together. I will miss that when I go to the valley,” said Schwartz.
The COCC Newman Club has been official since 2010, but are holding their first series of on-campus meetings this year. Previous meetings were held in member’s homes or at the St. Francis of Assisi Church in Bend. The Newman Club, like many other student organizations, has deep roots in the larger community. Many of the club’s activities are centered around outdoor recreation and social outings. The group meets every Thursday at 6:30pm in the Campus Center dinning commons to pray, eat good food, read scripture, and talk about life.
“I’ve visited other universities and seen their Newman groups. I think ours is a little more adventurous, being Catholic the Bendite way,” said Pat Creedican, the club’s spiritual advisor and supervisor.
The group snowshoed Crater Lake on Feb. 18. Other group activities include day hikes, 5 mile runs, nordic skiing, and bike trips. Creedican leads Club meetings and plans activities through the various Catholic churches and charities in Central Oregon.
In summer 2011, the club volunteered its time to Habitat for Humanity, building houses for the community’s less fortunate.
“The idea is to build camaraderie, brother and sisterhood,” said Creedican. “We want to be a support network, not only for Catholics but for all people at the college.”